"Heartfelt look at the resilience of the human spirit."
LA Times, Susan King
"Gyatso is engaging, charming, and riveting his story horrifying."
ABC News, Nancy Ramsey
"Powerful doc"
Time Out Magazine, Drew Toal

Film Makers

Makoto Sasa, Producer and Director
Makoto Sasa was born in 1973 in Tokyo.  In her childhood, she was captivated by the images of Tibetan monks and the Himalayan mountains on TV, and Tibet has affected her ever since.  She studied Media at Keio University in Japan, then moved to New York City in 1998. After receiving a M.A. in Media Studies from The New School University, she made several short documentaries, worked as an assistant editor for Going Under (2004), Love (2005), and The City (2007).  She was the editor and associate producer for a feature documentary about a Japanese photographer, which won the Best Editing Award at the Honolulu International Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival.  In 2005, the influence of Tibetan Buddhism and Palden Gyatso's story began to harmonize during her most difficult days in NYC. She then embarked on her own feature documentary, "Fire Under the Snow".

Maura Moynihan —  Executive Producer
Maura Moynihan has been an advocate for the Tibetan people since 1973, when her father, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, served as the United States Ambassador to India. Ms. Moynihan worked for many years with Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal, with support from Refugees International, the International Rescue Committee, the American Himalayan Foundation and the International Campaign for Tibet.  Ms. Moynihan testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and published many articles and research papers about Tibet. In 1998 Ms. Moynihan started the Radio Free Asia Tibet Bureau in Kathmandu, Nepal, training young Tibetans in journalism, field research and media studies. She is a consultant to the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, a cultural institution dedicated to the arts and cultures of Tibet and the Himalayas.  Ms. Moynihan
worked on all of her father's senate campaigns. Senator Moynihan served the people of New York in the United States Senate for 24 years, until his retirement in 2000.
Ms. Moynihan is a best selling author of two books, and speaks Tibetan, Hindi, Urdu and French, she  earned a BA from Harvard University and an MS in Political Science from the New School.

Jim Browne, Co-Producer
Jim Browne has been programming and producing film and video projects in New York City for the past 18 years. He currently runs Argot Pictures, a distribution and production company specializing in theatrical releases and consulting for independent films. He is also Associate Programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival as well as the curator of Divine Lens, an on-line film series promoting the work of women documentary filmmakers that is part of www.divinecaroline.com. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Rooftop Films.

Vladan Nikolic, Co-Producer
Vladan Nikolic is an award-winning filmmaker from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, who lives and works in New York City. Before coming to New York, Mr. Nikolic worked as a director for the first independent TV network in Yugoslavia. Since then, Vladan has worked as writer, director, producer and editor on shorts, feature films, documentaries, commercials and music videos. His awards include the TV Sarajevo Award and Zeta Film Award for Best Screenplay, Eastman Kodak Award for his short film Serendipity, Telluride Indiefest Best Film Award for his feature Burn, and others. His second feature, LOVE (2005) premiered at the Tribeca and Venice film festivals to critical acclaim. It went on to win awards at film festivals in Geneva, Switzerland, Barcelona, Spain, and the Best Director Award at the Tiburon International Film Festival in San Francisco. Vladan has recently produced the features Going Under and Here and There. He is also Associate Professor at The New School, where he teaches Film Directing, Production, and Digital Filmmaking, and he also teaches at New York University.

Link Maguire, Associate Producer and Camera B
Link Maguire is a self-taught professional working as a freelance Videographer / First Assistant Camera for the past ten years. A native New Yorker, he graduated from Fordham University in 1998. His career began in 1992, working for a large broadcast video rental company. With a concentration in SD and HD video, his work encompasses a wide range of film genres including documentaries, narratives, shorts, music videos and a recent 48-hour film festival competition. Some of his most memorable experiences working in the business include coverage of singer Bono Vox of U2 at the Simon Weisenthal Humanitarian Award dinner in 2002, an interview with Henry Kissinger for an Israeli TV documentary in 2003, and a private concert performance by Sir Paul McCartney at the Highline Ballroom in 2007.

Milica Zec, Editor
Milica Zec graduated with a degree in Film and TV editing at the University of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. She worked as an editor on various projects from music videos, commercials and TV shows to fiction and documentary TV series. She wrote scripts, edited and directed numerous short fiction and documentary films. The Berlin Film Festival invited her to participate in Berlinale Talent Campus in 2005. She is a member of The Association of Film and Television Artists in Belgrade. She currently resides and works in New York.

Vladimir Subotic, Director of Photography
Award-winning cinematographer Vladimir Subotic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. His professional career began in 1995 in Cyprus with TV commercials and music videos. He has worked on short and feature films, which have been screened at numerous international film festivals. He received the Kodak Visions of Light Best Cinematography Award at the 2004 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.

Aaron Mendez, Composer (Theatrical Trailer), Associate Producer, Story Consultant
Aaron's direct engagement with Buddhist activity dates to the late 1980s. His work has spanned the fields of acting, music composition, music performance and band-leading, film sound design, text editing and software design. Aaron is an award-winning composer, and a member of Screen Actor's Guild since the age of 10. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of The African Film Workshop. Learn more about Aaron's diverse career at aaronmendez.info.